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Old 07-22-2016, 12:54 PM   #1
4R Daddy
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Default Buying RV, towing/weight question

I'm about to buy my first RV and know nothing about towing capacity. Here is the info sheet on the RV and also the sticker on my door.
I called Dodge and with my VIN and they said it could pull 8500#. I'm confused on all of this. Will my Dodge 1500 pull this camper?




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Old 07-22-2016, 01:07 PM   #2
Sahelian Jeep
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There are a million different questions/variables when trying to figure out all of the towing capacities. Basically you can tow something that weighs 8500# as long as you use sway bars. If it has the 5.7 and you get all the load leveling stuff for the hitch you should be fine for short trips. I wouldn't won't to pull that very often/far with the 1500! I have an '03 2500 fo' by fo' with the 5.7 and pull a 35' bumper pull that weighs a little less than that with NO problems.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:12 PM   #3
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Yes, but only with 2100 pounds of water propane and other cargo.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:30 PM   #4
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Ok, so if I keep cargo to a minimum I should be ok?


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Old 07-22-2016, 01:31 PM   #5
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And does that include passengers?


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Old 07-22-2016, 01:33 PM   #6
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Yes it will pull it. You won't break any land speed record but it will do fine as is. To be on the safe ER side I would install trailer brakes and only use a weight distribution hitch and sway bar.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:41 PM   #7
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That is the max weight recommended by dodge. If you put a scale under each truck wheel, they can only total 8500lbs truck, gear, fuel, passengers etc. That's what a trooper would do if they wanted to. Your truck is registered to be at a certain weight for tax purposes as well - you can change this. With the trailer, the max weight is 10000, that is contents, trailer, water etc as it sits on the 4 wheels. I don't know what the empty trailer weight is but I bet its 8000-8500. You are at your max there already. I would suggest buying a smaller trailer or a bigger truck for safety sake. Maybe for 1-3 times a year you would be ok. But regular towing, I wouldn't recommend. Then you need to make sure your tires can handle that load...as well as the trailer tires....
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:50 PM   #8
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With trailer brakes and a good weight distribution hitch your truck will pull it.

Easy to say but I prefer to pull heavier campers with a 3/4 ton or larger truck. They are better equipped to handle the load.

Pulling it is one thing.
Stopping is another. 3/4 tons have bigger, better braking systems and usually set up with better engine and transmission cooling capacity. Braking is the main area of concern.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:53 PM   #9
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http://webcontent.goodsam.com/motorh...inghyGuide.pdf

This will tell you towing weight
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:58 PM   #10
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Like everyone said, you can pull about anything. It isn't a great idea to pull one that heavy with a 1500.

I pulled one that weight with a 2500HD 6.0L engine and it was work. If you aren't going far or fast and don't care about fuel mileage, it might be ok, but really a heavier truck with bigger, stronger everything would be better for that weight of trailer.
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Old 07-22-2016, 02:11 PM   #11
Mike D
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Default Buying RV, towing/weight question

Your trailer weighs 6460# completely empty. Once you load it with linens, dishes, propane etc you will probably be around 7500#. The maximum combined weight including all holding tanks full is 10,000#, so you can stick up to 3540# of "stuff" in it.

I would take your truck by a set of scales and you will better know if you are within the limits of your truck. If Ram said it's rated at 8500# you should be ok but until you weigh it you won't know for sure.

You need to weigh it with a full tank of fuel and all passengers that you will normally have in the truck.

Once you get the camper stocked, take it back across the scales and you will have a combined weight.

If you don't have the factory brake controller in your truck spend the $$ to get a good one. I like the Tekonsha Prodigy controller.

Definitely make sure you have a load distributing hitch, sway control only if needed IMO.

The numbers on your door sticker mean GAWR = max load capacity of each axle.

GVWR = maximum weight your truck can carry (cargo) with full fluids, passengers and cargo combined.

You can look in your owner's manual and find the CGVWR rating which will tell you the maximum combined weight of your truck and trailer.

Based on my experience it will pull it but it won't necessarily be fun.


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Last edited by Mike D; 07-22-2016 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 07-22-2016, 03:25 PM   #12
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Remember a few things.

Putting stuff—anything—in your trailer increases the weight of the trailer. Your trailer grosses well over what your truck can pull. So be judicious in loading your trailer with stuff.

Second, you must use a weight-distributing hitch.

Third, your truck grosses at 6800 pounds, and you may overload your truck before you exceed its towing capacity. This is a common problem with lighter vehicles like 1500-series trucks and SUVs—they just can't handle that much weight. Everything you put in or on the truck counts: fuel, luggage, people, the trailer tongue. Remember, the trailer tongue will weigh about 10% of the total weight of your trailer. I don't see it in your post, but you need to know what your truck weights empty. A 7500# trailer will have about a 750# tongue if you've loaded it evenly.

I'll give you an example. I had a Nissan Armada with the tow package. It was rated to tow 9000#. The problem was though that it had only enough cargo capacity to take a 900# tongue, my 280 pound body, and half a tank of gas. If I put luggage and the wife and kids and another half-tank of gas in it I was going to be well overweight on the vehicle and the combination weight. The combination weight is limit on the total weight of the tow vehicle and trailer. You can also exceed that pretty easily on light trucks and SUVs.

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Old 07-22-2016, 05:42 PM   #13
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What gets me is everyone worries if they can pull it. but no one thinks of whether they can stop it.
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:07 PM   #14
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Your trailer weighs 6460 empty. That is the same weight as my 28' trailer. I pull and stop it with my 2011 F150 with a 5.0l engine with no problem. When the wind is high though, I slow down. My truck has the Ford tow package on it so it has the extra transmission coolant, trailer brakes, and integrated sway control. Weight distribution hitches are a big plus when going long distances and highway speeds. I usually don't use them around town going to/from where it's stored but anytime we're going somewhere they are used.

I've towed it many places in Texas in the 3 years that I've had it. I took it to Gulf Shores, Alabama last year. In a few weeks, I'll do a trip that includes St. Louis, Colorado Springs, and Roswell, NM.

It's not bad pulling/stopping with the truck, but high winds and passing trucks sure can cause some pucker factor at times. I was going too fast on the way to Port A in some strong winds and the sway control kicked in. It's basically an engine brake to slow you down. Scared me at first. My next truck will be a F250 or F350 but I have no concerns with this one. It will be probably a few years before I upgrade trucks.

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Old 07-22-2016, 06:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMG View Post
What gets me is everyone worries if they can pull it. but no one thinks of whether they can stop it.
That's what the required brakes are for.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:07 PM   #16
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Is this a fifth wheel trailer or bumper pull? A fifth wheel, the wind drag will kill the truck. I think you can pull it fine if a bumper pull and you have a 4 door truck,right? You are not trying to pull with a regular cab short bed? A short wheel base truck with a long trailer is not a good combo.
I agree with trailer brake controller and do not cheap out on this option, when you are running to near max or over, brakes are your best friend. I agree with the load leveling hitch, but be careful with this. You want tongue weight. You want the truck to squat 4-6" with trailer hooked up. I have never understood why people want to hook a trailer up to a truck and then make it level?
Have you ever seen truck/trailers going down the road and they are swaying bad? That is not enough tongue weight. You need tongue weight for the trailer to follow the truck, otherwise the tail will wag the dog.
Since you are asking this I am guessing you have not pulled a trailer of this size much, no offense meant. Once you buy a trailer and before you take the family out, go practice out of town somewhere. Practice some scenarios like panic stops etc.
Once you buy the trailer, make sure you have good tranny cooler for the truck, this is now your best friend. If the truck has a factory cooler, plumb in a second cooler inline. A cool tranny is a happy tranny.
After you buy the trailer, the biggest mistake I see is lack of service for the tires,bearings and suspension. I replace tires every 3 years regardless of tread depth and I inspect the suspension on my birthday(my reminder) or very close to that each year...thats on all my trailers.
As far as weight ratings go, the last I read it was stated in the regs that they go by the MFG. weight rating or licensed weight rating, whichever is greater. So that means you can uprate a trucks rating. Thats the way I use to do it when I had hotshot trucks. I am not positive how its done now
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 41Chevy View Post
That's what the required brakes are for.
Trailer brakes help with slowing everything down but they mainly keep the trailer behind you, so you don't fishtail or jacknife as easily.

The tow vehicle needs enough braking power to do the bulk of the work.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by fullsizeaggie View Post
That is the max weight recommended by dodge. If you put a scale under each truck wheel, they can only total 8500lbs truck, gear, fuel, passengers etc. That's what a trooper would do if they wanted to. Your truck is registered to be at a certain weight for tax purposes as well - you can change this. With the trailer, the max weight is 10000, that is contents, trailer, water etc as it sits on the 4 wheels. I don't know what the empty trailer weight is but I bet its 8000-8500. You are at your max there already. I would suggest buying a smaller trailer or a bigger truck for safety sake. Maybe for 1-3 times a year you would be ok. But regular towing, I wouldn't recommend. Then you need to make sure your tires can handle that load...as well as the trailer tires....
Agreed. I know it's not always an option but they make 3/4 tons for a reason. Good luck stopping it! Towing probably isn't the issue.
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Old 07-22-2016, 08:56 PM   #19
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I just went through the same process and had the same Dodge 1500. I can tell you it will pull it but it gets nerve wrecking in a cross wind or above 60 mph. That was with an EZ Lift hitch and sway control. I ended up buying a new truck and it was much better.
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Old 07-22-2016, 09:02 PM   #20
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I just went through the same process and had the same Dodge 1500. I can tell you it will pull it but it gets nerve wrecking in a cross wind or above 60 mph. That was with an EZ Lift hitch and sway control. I ended up buying a new truck and it was much better.
Pretty much same for me, had a 6500 lb toy hauler empty weight on an f150 5.4 liter with tow package. It would tow it but it wasn't pretty, and was probably doing damage. Having water in the rv tanks is several hundred pounds. A gallon of water is six or eight pounds. I sold the trailer, it was not fun to tow, it threw my truck all over the road and got about 6 mpg.

Trailer brakes helped. I got the tekonsha brake controller and it is awesome
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd-ty729 View Post
Trailer brakes help with slowing everything down but they mainly keep the trailer behind you, so you don't fishtail or jacknife as easily.

The tow vehicle needs enough braking power to do the bulk of the work.
If brakes and controller are set up correctly this is hog wash
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:26 PM   #22
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If brakes and controller are set up correctly this is hog wash
Okay pull everything with a tacoma.
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Your trailer weighs 6460# completely empty. Once you load it with linens, dishes, propane etc you will probably be around 7500#. The maximum combined weight including all holding tanks full is 10,000#, so you can stick up to 3540# of "stuff" in it.

I would take your truck by a set of scales and you will better know if you are within the limits of your truck. If Ram said it's rated at 8500# you should be ok but until you weigh it you won't know for sure.

You need to weigh it with a full tank of fuel and all passengers that you will normally have in the truck.

Once you get the camper stocked, take it back across the scales and you will have a combined weight.

If you don't have the factory brake controller in your truck spend the $$ to get a good one. I like the Tekonsha Prodigy controller.

Definitely make sure you have a load distributing hitch, sway control only if needed IMO.

The numbers on your door sticker mean GAWR = max load capacity of each axle.

GVWR = maximum weight your truck can carry (cargo) with full fluids, passengers and cargo combined.

You can look in your owner's manual and find the CGVWR rating which will tell you the maximum combined weight of your truck and trailer.

Based on my experience it will pull it but it won't necessarily be fun.


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I agree here, especially on the brake controller.

To me one of the biggest concern on towing a camper is sway control, especially in a strong cross wind and nothing will help here more than a heavier stronger truck
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboswell View Post
I agree here, especially on the brake controller.

To me one of the biggest concern on towing a camper is sway control, especially in a strong cross wind and nothing will help here more than a heavier stronger truck
I saw a claim on one of those featherlite trailers being pulled with a 3/4 ton get picked up by the wind, slammed down and shattered while driving. Sway control is very important.
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:12 PM   #25
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I had a Ram 1500 hemi 4x4. Camper is a 32' bumper pull, about the same weight as yours. I have a weight distribution hitch with sway-control, and trailer brakes. The truck will pull the trailer, but after pulling in the hill country one trip, truck had rear-end problems. Also, it was just hard on the engine/transmission, especially going up those hills. Fixed the rear end, and it was okay to pull with, but not great. Pulling much was just going to wear the truck out. And it got about 6 mpg pulling the trailer. I now have a 2006 Ram 2500 4X4 with the 5.9 Diesel engine. It pulls my trailer like it's not even there. MPG is around 11 pulling the trailer. Just the difference in mpg means that trip time is shorter, since I'm not stopping for fuel every 100 miles or so. Love the 3/4 ton diesel.

Last edited by wildaggie; 07-22-2016 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:14 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd-ty729 View Post
Okay pull everything with a tacoma.

That was not my point at all
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:57 AM   #27
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Got a pic of the new camper? Had to ask. Bored and deer season ain't here yet.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:09 AM   #28
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Short Answer - Too Much Trailer For Your Truck

Your truck "could" pull a freight train engine.....or a Challenger Space Ship......but that doesn't mean squat.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:25 AM   #29
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I was in the same shoes as you two years ago. About the same weight trailer with a F150. of course the dealer said it would pull it fine. After adding two sway bars and the hitch I still had to buy an F250 to eliminate the walking in the freeway. Good luck
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:04 AM   #30
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This is what happened to my aunt and her husband. Towing a 6300lb trailer with a half ton truck without sway bars or a weight distributing hitch


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Old 07-23-2016, 06:42 PM   #31
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So I've decided to go lighter. I'm looking at one that weighs 5500 dry and grosses at 7000. Does that sound better to y'all?


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Old 07-23-2016, 07:00 PM   #32
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So I've decided to go lighter. I'm looking at one that weighs 5500 dry and grosses at 7000. Does that sound better to y'all?


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Think you will be happier. That's what I started with and had no problems. A light trailer will never be fun in wind no matter what you pull with.


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Old 07-23-2016, 07:04 PM   #33
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^^^ what he said. I have a Tacoma and I pull a 5k lb trailer. It's not bad and under the max weight however it's not that comfortable passing rigs and on high wind days.


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Old 07-23-2016, 07:26 PM   #34
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This the hitch assembly I used. Has built-in away control and is easy to hookup.
http://www.equalizerhitch.com/store/...66030df828087b
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:17 PM   #35
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We pulled the trigger. I'll pick it up mid August. Im pretty excited, it's the first camper I've had that isn't a 1970 deer lease POS.


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Old 07-23-2016, 10:28 PM   #36
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Quote:
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This the hitch assembly I used. Has built-in away control and is easy to hookup.
http://www.equalizerhitch.com/store/...66030df828087b
I have the exact same setup
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Old 07-24-2016, 12:02 AM   #37
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So I've decided to go lighter. I'm looking at one that weighs 5500 dry and grosses at 7000. Does that sound better to y'all?


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This should work better.

IMO people get too involved in max weight when selecting a camper. The main problem with campers is that they are extremely light compared to the surface area subjected to wind.

A 5000# camper may cause trouble in windy conditions when a 8000# flat concentrated load will not given same tow vehicle.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:58 AM   #38
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Now I'm really confused. First too heavy was going to pull terrible, now I hearing light isn't going to do well.


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Old 07-24-2016, 09:53 AM   #39
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Wind is a factor with any high profile vehicle or trailer. You will have better control of 5000 wagging behind you than 8000.

Truth is if you are not hitched up properly both loads could give you fits.

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Old 07-24-2016, 09:54 AM   #40
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You are not gong to happy towing with a 1/2 ton pick up. Suspension is weak, drive train is weak, especially the transmission, if you will be pulling 1 or 2 times a year you can get by. Sooner or later you will realize you will need a bigger truck.
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:43 AM   #41
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Now I'm really confused. First too heavy was going to pull terrible, now I hearing light isn't going to do well.


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Lighter pulls better but not as stable. There are trade offs. I'm pushing 32,000 pounds now so wind doesn't affect me like it did with a 5,000 trailer.
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Old 07-24-2016, 12:22 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Mike Murphey View Post
You are not gong to happy towing with a 1/2 ton pick up. Suspension is weak, drive train is weak, especially the transmission, if you will be pulling 1 or 2 times a year you can get by. Sooner or later you will realize you will need a bigger truck.


I agree. That's the only reason I'm keeping my 3/4 ton diesel. I don't want to pull 6700#'s with my 1/2 ton and can't swing the cash for a new truck right now.
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:07 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by super_dave View Post
Yes it will pull it. You won't break any land speed record but it will do fine as is. To be on the safe ER side I would install trailer brakes and only use a weight distribution hitch and sway bar.
^^^^ THIS!!! Weight distribution hitch with sway bar and trailer brakes are the only way to go with that much trailer. Most dealers won't let you drive out without WD hitch. The question isn't really if you can pull it, it is if you can stop it and if you can control it. I bought a 2015 F-150 XLT Sport SCrew and a 2015 Forest River Surveyor last year with an Eaz-Lift 48058 Elite Weight Distributing Hitch Kit and installed a Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Controller with a factory harness. My trailer is level the ride is smooth.
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:33 PM   #44
175gr7.62
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I have basically decided that if I'm gonna own a camper then I have to have a 3/4 pickup at the minimum, there is just no comparison.


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Old 07-25-2016, 03:59 PM   #45
Pullersboy
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I think you'll be much better off with the light 5,000-5'500 lbs trailer. I had a trailer that weighed 7,500lbs empty and it was waaaay too much for my chevy 1/2 ton I had at the time and my tow capacity on that truck was 8,500, just like your Dodge. That was towing empty too. It's just too much tongue weight for that 1/2 ton. Even with a weight distribution hitch, it nearly put my truck at the spring stops. I went to a 3/4 diesel. Problem solved. Even with that truck, though, the weight distribution hitch was needed. I'm now on my second trailer which is much lighter. It's easily half ton towable. But, it's too small for my wife's liking, so we're probably going to get another one somewhere between our 1st trailer and second trailer, but still half ton towable so it can be pulled with her truck as well as mine.
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:32 PM   #46
41Chevy
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Just remember that brake laws are different in other states. A friend of mine had to drop his jeep because he didn't have a brake system on it when he got tagged on a traffic stop.



http://www.readybrake.com/state-towing-laws.html
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:42 PM   #47
41Chevy
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If you're going to go big do it right.

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Old 07-25-2016, 05:49 PM   #48
WItoTX
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As everyone else suggested, you truck could pull any of those weights, it's stopping it that is usually the issue...
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:18 AM   #49
wildaggie
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Make sure that the truck/trailer are loaded like you will be pulling when you set up the weight distribution system. If you set it up empty, it won't be level when loaded. Google to find directions on setting it up. It involves measuring ground to axle on both front and rear before hooking up, after hooking up, and after adding weight distribution hitch. It'll take about 30 minutes to get it right.
Most folks just eyeball it, but it'll pull better if you get it done right.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:40 AM   #50
LWD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 41Chevy View Post
This the hitch assembly I used. Has built-in away control and is easy to hookup.
http://www.equalizerhitch.com/store/...66030df828087b
Friend of mine has that exact hitch and loves it.

LWD
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